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Next Generation I/O for the Exascale

Next Generation I/O for the Exascale

Addressing the I/O bottleneck of HPC workloads through exploitation of Intel’s ground-breaking 3D XPoint™ non-volatile memory technologies

Current HPC systems perform on the order of tens to hundreds of petaFLOPs. Although this already represents one million billion computations per second, more complex demands on scientific modelling and simulation mean even faster computation is necessary. The next step is Exascale computing, which is up to 1000x faster than current Petascale systems. Researchers in HPC are aiming to build an HPC system capable of Exascale computation by 2022.

One of the major roadblocks to achieving this goal is the I/O bottleneck. Current systems are capable of processing data quickly, but speeds are limited by how fast the system is able to read and write data. This represents a significant loss of time and energy in the system. Being able to widen, and ultimately eliminate, this bottleneck would majorly increase the performance and efficiency of HPC systems.

NEXTGenIO will solve the problem by bridging the gap between memory and storage. This will use Intel's revolutionary new 3D XPoint non-volatile memory, which will sit between conventional memory and disk storage. NEXTGenIO will design the hardware and software to exploit the new memory technology. The goal is to build a system with 100x faster I/O than current HPC systems, a significant step towards Exascale computation.

The advances that 3D XPoint and NEXTGenIO represent are transformational across the computing sector.

Hardware

NEXTGenIO partners Intel and Fujitsu are developing a prototype system based around Intel’s 3D XPoint™ next-generation non-volatile memory technology.The prototype system will be used to explore how to make best use of this new technology in the world of I/O intensive high-performance scientific computing. 

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Software

The NEXTGenIO system closes the memory and storage gap. However, NEXTGenIO is not only building a prototype system, it is also developing the software to be used in conjunction with the hardware.The systemware stack, which sits between the hardware and the user applications, exposes the prototype architecture to the user level and

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